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Summary: When the Foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? 1. God hates things that hurt the ones He loves. 2. God hates worship that destroys human potential. 3. God hates so we can love

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For the director of music. Of David.

1 In the LORD I take refuge.

How then can you say to me:

“Flee like a bird to your mountain.

2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;

they set their arrows against the strings

to shoot from the shadows

at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

4 The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD is on his heavenly throne.

He observes everyone on earth;

his eyes examine them.

5 The LORD examines the righteous,

but the wicked, those who love violence,

he hates with a passion.

6 On the wicked he will rain

fiery coals and burning sulfur;

a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the LORD is righteous,

he loves justice;

the upright will see his face.

1. God hates things that hurt the ones He loves.

2. God hates worship that destroys human potential.

3. God hates so we can love

David begins with his own plight-he is facing difficulty, His enemies are aiming their arrows at him, and he has friends who are advising him to run away. But David can’t run away because the LORD is his refuge.

But still, the situation is dire.

He (or his friends) describes it like this:

“When the foundations are being destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

Recently I was asked to post in a forum of classmates in the doctoral program at USC.

I was a bit frustrated because the subject was ethics and it was handled in a way that was disturbing. The articles we were asked to read on the subject offered methods of looking at ethical issues. One of the articles split the process into five approaches: Utilitarian, Rights, Fairness/Justice, Common-good, and Virtue (you can see the article here https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/thinking-ethically/). What was completely lacking in the presentation was a definition of what constitutes good, what is meant by justice, where ‘rights’ come from, and how Virtue is defined. The authors quoted great philosophers like Aristotle, Mill, and Kant, but misquoted them-leaving out the most important part of their enterprise. Each one of those philosophers was interested in defining what was good and true, and building an ethical system on that foundation. Instead of following in the footsteps of these great thinkers, we were invited to come up with our own answers to what is right and wrong, simply based on a few “approaches” to the issues-not based on any foundation of right and wrong.

In the forum I said this (forgive me for quoting myself):

“ . . . I think we as a species need to return to the fundamental question of whether there is such a thing as right and wrong, truth and falsehood. If there isn't, there may be no reason to bother with these forums and discussions. If there is, I would hope we can come to some consensus concerning it. What is most frightening to me about recent events of shootings and violence against innocents is that the perpetrators of these crimes not only feel they are right, they are proud to proclaim responsibility. It seems to me evil to take pleasure or satisfaction or gratification in the pain and suffering of another. Can we all agree on that? Maybe that is one place to begin the discussion.”


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